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Professor Ewan Birney

Non-Executive Director

Ewan Birney is a Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and a Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. He played a vital role in annotating the genome sequences of human, mouse, chicken and several other organisms; this work has had a profound impact on our understanding of genomic biology. Ewan also led the analysis group for the ENCODE project, which is defining functional elements in the human genome. His current areas of research include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information and compression of sequence information.

Ewan completed his PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with Richard Durbin, and worked in the laboratories of leading scientists Adrian Krainer, Toby Gibson and Iain Campbell. He received the 2003 Francis Crick Award from the Royal Society, the 2005 Overton Prize from the International Society for Computational Biology and the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Award for contributions in Open Source Bioinformatics. Ewan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, was appointed Honorary Professor of Bioinformatics at the Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine in 2015 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the same year.

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